Authorization of the importation of prescription drugs from countries with lower prices
than the United States is an increasingly attractive proposition for state and federal policymakers.
The short-run benefit of reductions in prices of selected prescription drugs for selected
patients may be viewed as a sufficient reason to favor importation. However, there may be
longer-run effects of importation of prescription drugs that are less desirable, including reduced
investments and altered regional investments in pharmaceutical research and development.

August 18, 2004

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